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Pit Bull Articles, Information + Resources

Pit bulls get an undeserved bad rap, which is why we're on a mission to clean up their undeserved reputation! We hope that the links, articles and resources on this page will help you to better understand our bully friends. We encourage you to share this page with as many people as you can in order to help us get the word out that pitties are friends, not foes! Together, we can help protect these beautiful dogs from further abuse, exploitation and public misunderstanding.  

About "Pit Bull" Breeds

Did you know that there is no such breed as a “pit bull”? The collective term "pit bull" is typically used to describe the dogs of three recognized bully breeds: the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier and the Staffordshire Bull Terrier, as well as any range of mixes of these and bulldog-type breeds. To the casual observer, these breeds can be nearly impossible to distinguish from one another, yet their sizes, shapes and colors can vary widely. Some weigh in at a light 25 pounds, while others may be 85 pounds. All three breeds are well muscled with short, bristly coats that come in a variety of markings and colors.

Despite their physical variances, however, the bully breeds all have one thing in common: incredibly lovable personalities! As a rule, bully breeds are fun loving, spunky, intelligent, affectionate and often quite goofy dogs. What's more, they are extremely loyal to their families and can make truly wonderful companions!

Why BSL (Breed Specific Legislation) Does Not Work

Many cities and counties in our country and state have banned the ownership of any "pit bull" type dog.  The problem with any BSL (breed specific legislation) lies in that the amendment labels any "pit bull type dog" as a "vicious dog", which is simply inaccurate, discriminatory and unfounded. First, there is no single breed called "pit bull" but many types of dogs that can fall into this category, leaving identification of these dogs to loose interpretation and very difficult to enforce. Enforcing this type of legislation costs tax dollars that could better be spent holding owners of truly aggressive dogs of any breed accountable.

What's more, pit bulls are actually proven to have incredibly wonderful temperaments.  Contrary to the uninformed label of "vicious dog", one of the breeds referred to as a "pit bull" is the American Pit Bull Terrier -- which has a better temperament testing score (86.8% passing rate) than Beagles and Golden Retrievers according to the American Temperament Testing Society.  So if national temperament testing shows that pit bull type dogs are scoring as safer and friendlier dogs than some of these popular family breeds, why is it that pit bulls are being unjustly singled out and labeled as vicious?  Simply because when a dog of another breed attacks or bites, it does not make the news -- but any random, rare case of a pit bull doing so makes front page headlines.  It's nothing but exaggerated hype.

In fact, even those pit bulls that are abused and made to fight typically never show any human aggression. This is the rule, not the exception, with pit bulls. They are bred to be very friendly, loving and loyal.

That is why animal advocates in our community will fight any breed-specific legislation -- because just as you cannot judge a race of people based on their appearance, you also cannot judge breeds of dogs as vicious simply based on how they look. There is no scientific evidence to support any theory that you can.  Instead, we need to focus on teaching dog bite safety and responsible pet ownership in our communities and holding owners of all breeds equally accountable for their dogs and for keeping them in a responsible and safe manner. This will make our communities safer; singling out a certain breed or type of dog and hurting responsible families and innocent dogs in the process will not.

That is why numerous organizations oppose BSL, including the American Animal Hospital Association, American Bar Association, National Animal Control Association, American Kennel Club, American Veterinary Medical Association, Association of Pet Dog Trainers and many others. Please visit this page for the National Canine Research Council for more reasons why BSL is nothing more than bred bullying. 

And be sure to read and share our article, "Breed Bullying: The Truth About Breed Specific Legislation".

Positive Pit Bull Articles

Restoring America's Treasures: Mike Wolfe Speaks Up for Pit Bulls
By Heather Dowdy / Published in the Feb/Mar 2013 issue of Nashville Paw magazine

Breed Bullying: The Truth About Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)
By Emily Volman / Published in the October/November issue of Nashville Paw magazine

The Truth About Bullies
Understanding America's Most Controversial Dog Breeds
By Heather Davis / Published in the Aug/Sep 2006 issue of Nashville Paw magazine

Fun-to-Share Pit Bull Links

Promoting pit bull awareness can be as easy as spreading the message with a weblink. Share these fun links with your friends and family!

YouTube Video: Pit Bull Blues
This great song and video by John Shipe shines a happy light on our bully friends... a must-share!

Pick the Pit Bull Game
Can you identify the American Pit Bull Terrier at this link? It's harder than you might think! Truth is, most people get this wrong. Banning pit bulls through BSL (breed specific legislation) is not effective for several reasons, one of them being that the general public as well as law enforcement often cannot identify the true breed of a dog. There are many breeds that are often mistaken for pit bulls, including Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldogs, Dodo Argentinos, Cane Corsos and even American Bulldogs. Give this quiz a try and see how you do, then share it with a friend!

Positive Pit Bull Organizations + Websites

There is a plethora of pit bull information available on the internet, although it can take a while to sift through to the good stuff! That's why we've compiled this list of our favorite bully breed websites, making it easy for you to find pit bull information, education, advocacy and rescue resources.

A 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to restoring the reputation and image of America's bully breeds

Bay Area Dog Lovers Responsible About Pit Bulls
Check out their website for heartwarming updates, photos and stories about the dogs they took in from the Michael Vick case. A great source of education and information for all things bully!

Pit Bull Rescue Central
A great website for pit bulls facts, information and education as well as a network for rescue and adoption.

The Positive Pit Bull
A fabulous site and organization promoting positive pit bull awareness and education!

Local Groups that Advocate for and/or Rescue + Adopt Pit Bulls

PLEASE NOTE: While there are many groups that claim to rescue and adopt out pit bulls, please use caution when placing any bully breed! Pit bulls can often end up in the wrong hands despite the best of intentions. Please NEVER surrender a pit bull to a "rescue" that seems overly eager to take them in or that you do not have valid references for. There are unfortunately a few groups that  pose as rescues and then dump the dogs at animal control to be euthanized. Always do your homework and gather references for any rescue group or organization prior to working with one or turning over a dog.

To the best of our knowledge, the following groups are known to do good work in rescuing bully breeds and/or promoting humane education and resources for bullies and/or chained dogs. 

Bless the Bullys
Cookeville, TN

Dogs Deserve Better of Nashville
Nashville, TN

East Community Action Network (East CAN)
East Nashville, TN

Middle Tennessee Pet Resource Center
Nashville, TN 

Nashville PITTIE
Nashville, TN

Silver Rescue
Nashville, TN

Metro Animal Care and Control
Nashville, TN

New Leash On Life
Lebanon, TN

Williamson County Animal Control
Franklin, TN

Meet our Pit Bull Ambassador, Briley


It was a cold, dreary day in January 2012 when I happened across the pup that would not only become a beloved member of our family, but also a shining ambassador for her breed. I was at a local animal control shelter working on a spay and neuter PSA when I discovered her, shivering and afraid in her concrete cage. She was a tiny white puppy, just 13 weeks old, and yet her life was already about to end. Destined to die simply because of her breed, she was scheduled for euthanasia.

The shelter workers explained that a kind man had brought her in several days before. He had witnessed her cast out, like trash, onto Briley Parkway in Nashville. Fearing she'd be hit by passing cars, he'd scooped her up and did the best he knew to do: surrender her to the shelter where he hoped she'd have a chance at adoption.

There were countless death row dogs in the shelter that day, like there were every day. Each and every one shattered my heart. But there was something about this pup in particular that reached down into my soul and whispered, "My life has just begun. Please save me." Maybe it was the way her small, fragile body trembled against the cage wire. Maybe it was because, as a mere baby who had not yet even had a chance to live, her profound innocence amplified all that is wrong with breed specific legislation and its consequences. Whatever it was, my soul immediately answered hers: "You will not die here."

Thankfully, my compassionate and loving husband agreed.

Although the shelter did not typically accommodate pit bull adoptions, they allowed me to take her after much heartfelt pleading. After all, they knew me and my work; they knew she'd gain everlasting love and receive the best care. And, at 13 weeks of age, technically, she could have been an American Bulldog for all anyone knew. Right?

They kept her overnight to spay and microchip her. The next day, Chris and I picked her up, swaddled in a towel. She buried into us, nuzzling her nose under our chins and tenderly kissing our necks with her small, warm tongue. Briley seemed a fitting name, in honor of casting off the shadows of her past and embracing a beautiful new road ahead.

Of course, we were immediately in love. And never has a dog loved us back so fully and so loyally! In no time, she was one of the pack, learning from and playing with our older rescued dogs, Shelby and Molly, and soaking up all the adventures of puppyhood. 

Today, Briley is full grown at 46 pounds -- although she's convinced that she's a tiny lap dog! She brings immense joy, love and laughter to our life every single day, and we cannot imagine our home and family without her. It pains me to think that she would have missed all of this -- as would we -- had I not been there at the shelter that day. That simply because she was born an American Pit Bull Terrier, she would have lost her life before she'd even had the chance to live.

I am incredibly grateful that the shelter has since changed their policies and now give all pit bull breeds a chance at adoption. It is because of the compassion, dedication and advocacy of many animal lovers in our community that positive changes such as these are continually being made in Nashville. Together, we continue to educate the public, change perception and make positive strides for pit bulls in our community and beyond!

I am thankful that Briley is not only a big part of our family, but is also a positive pit bull ambassador, spreading the truth about America's truly remarkable bully breeds. Everywhere she goes, she dispels the myth and showers everyone she meets with the love, affection and the adorabull personality so typical of her fellow bully breeds!

Share in Briley's journey!  Follow her Instagram @musiccitypittie and @nashvillepaw

Pit Bull Myths and Facts Infographic
Courtesy of: 1800PetMeds.com